BayCHI: Doug Kaye and Dan Klass

Last night I attended the monthly BayCHI meeting which featured two guest speakers on podcasting:

  • Podcasting: Media Evolution or Revolution?, Doug Kaye, IT Conversations
  • Podcast Solutions and Podcast Problems, Dan Klass, The Bitterest Pill

I had never been to a BayCHI meeting before, but they have an impressive list of speakers. I estimated about 50 people attended last night.

It was cool seeing Dan Klass in person after following The Bitterest Pill for a while now. Rather than following prepared comments, Dan gave some intro comments and spent most of the time answering peoples questions (in depth). Dan emphasized the idea of “narrow casting”, or talking to specific topics. He also suggested focusing on content creation and connecting with your audience rather than talking to them.

Dan mentioned a couple shows I need to check out:

Doug Kaye followed with a similar talk, some specific notes he wanted to cover, but mostly good Q&A. Doug made a lot of good points, some of which I’ll try to summarize:

  • IT Conversations is now being supported by about 50 volunteers (“Team ITC“)
  • They focus on content with a long shelf life and avoid news or time-related coverage; older shows continue to be found and downloaded, so ideally they’ll be “timeless”
  • When he started recording tech conferences, he ran into hesitation initially (worried about cannibalizing conference attendance), but he was able to show how the conversations extend the reach over time; (I get the sense that, today, he doesn’t have trouble selling the benefits)
  • ITC doesn’t do any outbound marketing, but rely on search engines which bring in the majority of visitors. To make this effective, they spend a lot of time making the shows search-engine friendly (meta data, descriptive data, one page per show, clear titles, etc.).
  • “Content that’s free is more valuable” — Doug explains that his is from a pragmatic viewpoint rather than academic; by keeping the content free, it stays alive in ongoing conversations. Counter example: if bloggers won’t link to content behind pay or registration barriers, the content becomes less valuable.
  • Looking at which shows are the most highly-related, he listed solo presentations followed by 1:1 interviews. Panel discussions consistently rate poorly; he suspected it was mostly due to poor sound quality, but has also heard from listeners that don’t like panels in person, either.

Update 2005-09-23: The BayCHI site now has the MP3 audio from the two presentations.